Henry Small (singer)

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Henry Small
Henry Small in 2015.jpg
Small, 2015
Background information
Birth nameHenry Cave Small
Born (1948-02-29) February 29, 1948 (age 73)
Beacon, New York, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • composer
  • multi-instrumentalist
  • radio personality
  • Vocals
  • violin
  • brass
  • mandolin
Years active1960s–present
Associated acts

Henry Cave Small (born February 29, 1948) is an American-born Canadian singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and radio personality.[1] In a career spanning more than 40 years, Small has been a member of three rock bands: Prism, Scrubbaloe Caine, and Small Wonder.

With Prism, Small enjoyed great success and recognition in the early 1980s. His first studio album with the band was Small Change, released in 1981. It was the band's most commercially successful studio album on the Billboard 200, being their first and only album to make the Top 100. The lead single, "Don't Let Him Know", co-written by Jim Vallance with Bryan Adams, became Prism's first and only Top 40 hit in the US. It went on to peak at number one on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 1982, and stayed in the charts for just over four months.[2] Their follow-up album, Beat Street, released in 1983, however, was more of a solo album by Small than a Prism album as it features no founding members of the band and relied heavily on session musicians. After Prism broke up in 1984, Small worked with the Who's bass guitarist John Entwistle, singing the lead vocals on his sixth solo album The Rock which was released ten years after it was first recorded, in 1996. He has also worked with Eddie Money, Doug Cox, and Richie Zito.

Small pursued a solo career and released his debut album Time in 2002. He is currently working as a morning radio personality at CIFM-FM in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Early life[edit]

Henry Cave Small was born on February 29, 1948, in Beacon, New York. He learned how to play the violin at an early age, but in high school discovered other kinds of music. He was bullied as a child because of his height, which led to confrontations.[3]

Musical career[edit]

1971–1975: Scrubbaloe Caine[edit]

From 1970–1975, Small was a member of the band Scrubbaloe Caine. Other members included Paul Dean later of Loverboy, and the band was produced by David Kershenbaum from RCA. The band released one studio album, Round One in 1973. They broke up in 1975, after being unable to find a new recording contract.[4]

1976–1977: Small Wonder[edit]

In 1976, Small formed the band Small Wonder with James Phillips, Jerry Morin, and William King. They released their debut album, Small Wonder, in the same year. In 1977, they released their second album Growin'.[5] Small Wonder brought Small a three-year songwriting contract with Irving Almo Music. During this period, he made a guest appearance on Burt Sugarman's The Midnight Special.

1981–1984: Prism[edit]

From 1981–84, Small was a member of the rock band Prism. As the band was preparing to record their follow-up album to Young and Restless in the summer of 1981, lead singer Ron Tabak was fired. Various reasons cited were his conflicts with other band members, several run-ins with the law, and lack of songwriting ability. Around the same time, keyboardist John Hall left the band. Small was brought in, and the new four-piece line-up of Small, guitarist Lindsay Mitchell, bass player Al Harlow, and drummer Rocket Norton recorded the album Small Change, which was released later in 1981. The first track on the album "Don't Let Him Know", written by Jim Vallance (using his real name, as opposed to the Roddy Higgs moniker he often used in his work with the band) and Bryan Adams, became Prism's first Top 40 hit in the US and a number-one single on Billboard's new Rock Tracks chart.[2] Their follow-up single "Turn on Your Radar" also charted, becoming their fifth and final song to chart in the U.S.

By the end of the tour for Small Change, Mitchell, Harlow and Norton had individually left Prism. With Mitchell's departure, Prism now had no founding members left.

In 1982, the band's touring line-up was Small, guitarist Paul Warren, bass player John Trivers, keyboardist Robyn Robbins, and Doug Maddick on drums. Although the band had essentially broken up by the end of 1982, Small decided to continue recording as a solo artist but using the Prism name. He assembled a group of session musicians including Richie Zito, Alan Pasqua, Mike Baird and backing vocalists Bill Champlin (Chicago), Bobby Kimball (Toto) and Timothy B. Schmit (Eagles) to assist him. Together, this ad hoc line-up released the album Beat Street under the Prism name in 1983. The album was not a commercial success and failed to have any charting singles in Canada. Small, by now the band's only member, was dropped from his label, and essentially retired from using the Prism name in early 1984, and the 'band' became defunct.


In 1996, John Entwistle, bass guitarist for the Who, released his sixth solo album titled The Rock. This was his only solo album on which he did not sing any of the lead vocals, a role filled instead by Small. The album was actually recorded over an 18-month period in 1985 at Entwistle's Hammerhead Studios in England and was meant to be released by WEA. Legal issues kept it in the vaults for ten years, and the album was then released in four different editions between 1996 and 2005, with separate covers for each. AllMusic wrote of the album "There's no questioning the technical skill of the performances—this band sounds tight and expert throughout, and Entwistle and [Zak] Starkey are a mighty rhythm section.[6]


  • Time (2002)
Small Wonder
  • Small Wonder (1976)
  • Growin’ (1977)


  1. ^ Henry Small, CanadianBands.com
  2. ^ a b Billboard Rock Tracks chart, March 27, 1982
  3. ^ History, SmallWorldStudios.com
  4. ^ Scrubbaloe Caine, CanadianBands.com
  5. ^ Lost Treasures: Small Wonder, retrieved September 2, 2015
  6. ^ The Rock, AllMusic, retrieved September 2, 2015

External links[edit]